Kolkata: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Saturday made it clear that his party would fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal on the planks of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and illegal infiltration from Bangladesh.
Shah, who was addressing a rally organised by the BJP’s Yuva Morcha on Kolkata’s Mayo Road, said: “I would like to ask Mamata ji why she is protecting Bangladeshi infiltrators. Rahul Gandhi is also not clarifying his stand on this issue. They are raising their voice against NRC because these Bangladeshi infiltrators are their vote bank in Bengal. But we will not let this happen. We will go ahead with the NRC plan and push back each and every infiltrator.”
He added, “We should be worried for Bengal’s Hindus and Muslims because there are no jobs for them. If we don't stop this infiltration, how will Bengal develop? The only solution to the problem is NRC but Mamata di is least bothered. She is raising her voice against NRC only for vote bank politics. The NRC is a national security issue and for the BJP, national security comes first and politics later.”
Recalling the West Bengal chief minister’s stand on Bangladeshis in 2005, Shah said: “In 2005, the same Mamata Banerjee raised her voice against Bangladeshis living illegally in Bengal. She raised her voice in Parliament because these people were the Left’s vote bank. Now the same Bangladeshis are the TMC’s vote bank and hence, she is raising her voice against NRC.
“I would like to know if national security is important for her or vote bank politics. Don’t you think Bangladeshi infiltrators are a threat to India? Don’t you think they should be dragged out of our country?” he added.
Sensing that the NRC issue may go against the sentiments of people of Bengal, many of whom have their roots in Bangladesh, Shah said: “I am not against Bengal but against the Mamata government. She (Mamata) made a huge issue over NRC. She even said this would lead to a civil war. I would like to clarify today that we are not going to stall the process of NRC. We will drag out each and every infiltrator from India.
“These Bangladeshi infiltrators are TMC’s vote bank and now they have added Rohingyas also and are sheltering them in Bengal. The central government will amend the Citizenship Act to accommodate refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Opposition has to decide whether it will support that amendment or not.”
He said BJP workers would go to each district to expose the misrule of the TMC government in Bengal. “Please keep your ears open and hear me well, I am going to oust your government from Bengal. The sea of people here clearly shows that ‘parivartan’ is inevitable in Bengal,” he added.
The BJP president further said, “The party’s winning streak across the country is meaningless until we seize power in Bengal. The BJP is ruling in 19 states but I believe that these victories are meaningless until we win over the place of Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Rabindranath Tagore. Let us give a chance to Narendra Modi.” He added that Banerjee was elected as she fought against corruption but “you can see scam everywhere in Bengal”.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Babul Supriyo claimed that local channels in the state were forced to black out Shah’s speech.
Reliable sources confirm #SitiCable owner Sri.Suresh Sethia was threatened yesterday& forced to BlackOut Prime Bengali News Channels Blocking the Live Telecast of Sri @AmitShah ji’s Rally&Speech•It didn’t work cuz National Channels r reaching it LIVE to the Hearts of WB•#TMছিঃ— Babul Supriyo (@SuPriyoBabul) 11 August 2018
Dismissing the charges, the TMC said blackouts and blackmailing were the ploys used by the BJP and challenged the party to prove the allegation. TMC’s Saugata Roy said the party did not believe in pressuring media and the BJP was looking for excuses to divert attention from its “flop show”.
BJP have just concluded another flop show in #Bangla After the flop meeting BJP are looking for excuses.They are saying their meeting was blacked out. Black outs and blackmailing is what BJP do. Don’t insult the media. All showed. We challenge BJP. Either they prove it or resign— AITC (@AITCofficial) 11 August 2018